I think the most realistic way for DHo to be a Blazer next year is via sign-and-trade. It's fair enough to argue the merits of him being a Blazer given the baggage that he brings, but...on the other hand he's the most dominant center in the league. If the Blazers want to put up with that and get the ultimate "needle mover" perhaps this off season plan would be possibility:
Cap space = $11,000,000
Lakers S-T Howard at $20,000,000 annually to Blazers for:
Batum ($11,300,000) + Leonard ($2,200,000) + #10 pick ($1,800,000) + Freeland ($2,900,000) + 2nd rounder(s)
Salary going back to LA = $18,200,000
Cap space remaining = $9,200,000
Blazers sign the following UFA:
Tony Allen at $3,700,000 annually
Dunleavy at $3,500,000 annually
Brendan Wright at $2,000,000 annually
Cap space remaining = $0
Blazers sign Maynor (or a serviceable replacement) using MMLE
Blazers sign Elliott Williams and Jermaine O'Neal for minimum salary
Sign others for minimum as needed to complete roster.
Your 2013-14 Portland Trailblazers opening night roster:
Lillard, Allen, Dunleavy, Aldridge, Howard
Maynor, Matthews, Barton, Claver, Wright, O'Neal, Williams + others
Obviously, the key to this plan is the S-T piece with Howard. If that happens (and you're willing to accept the associated drama) this could put the Blazers in immediate contention. Getting another scorer using the MLE in the off season of 2014 could really make this team something special.
While this plan makes our team older, it gives us a legit chance at contending while LMA is still a main cog. Short of something significant this off season he likely is past his prime when/if the Blazers vault back into the NBA's elite.
It also dramatically improves our defense despite the fact that we lose Batum, maintains some outside shooting with Dunleavy, and adds scoring pop to the bench by moving Matthews there. It doesn't dramatically improve our bench, but does strengthen it/fill some holes.
I think getting this done gets NO exec of the year.
What do you guys think?